Family-centered practice is at the core of child welfare work, including work with children and youth in group and residential treatment facilities. Families should be involved in their children's care as well as transition planning as youth prepare to exit the facility and return home. The following resources highlight the importance of working with families to achieve positive outcomes for children and youth experiencing inpatient treatment. In addition, the resources provide information on involving family in planning successful transitions from residential care.
- Supporting families with children and youth in residential care
- Engaging families and youth in transition planning from residential care
Building Bridges Initiative
Promotes partnerships and collaborations among residential and community providers, families, youth, advocates, and policymakers to achieve positive outcomes for youth and families touched by a residential intervention. The Initiative's website offers briefs, guides, handbooks, tools, and more.
Family Engagement in Therapeutic Group Homes (PDF - 3,441 KB)
University of Montana, Center for Children, Families, and Workforce Development (2020)
Describes how child welfare systems can better engage families before placement, during placement, and after placement in residential treatment. The brief also explains benefits of engaging children, youth, and families along with steps organizations can take to engage.
How Does Sweetser's Residential Treatment Approach Promote Family Engagement and Inclusion in Maine?
Explores a residential treatment program for children and youth in Maine that includes family-focused and community-integrated services. This strategy brief explains how this approach engages and supports parents and families.
Parents as Partners: Family Connection and Youth Incarceration (PDF - 644 KB)
Northwestern University (2018)
Community Safety & The Future of Illinois’ Youth Prison, (2)
Emphasizes the importance of family involvement and engagement during the time the child is in the juvenile justice system and long after they leave the system to continue encouraging positive development and behavior as enter adulthood.
How to Make a Discharge Plan When Your Child Leaves Addiction Treatment
Partnership to End Addiction
Reviews what family members should expect as their loved one leaves residential treatment and prepares to come home. The website covers the discharge planning process, key components of a plan, who should be involved, and more.
The Importance of Discharge Planning and Aftercare Programs
Lifeskills South Florida (2017)
Explains discharge planning for leaving residential treatment and how more extensive planning leads to a greater likelihood of a successful recovery. The resource describes aftercare programs such as transitional living, support groups, addiction and mental health treatment, coaching, and more.
A Positive Transition Home After Residential Treatment for Teens
Newport Academy (2017)
Provides resources and approaches to help teens in residential treatment make the transition back to daily life. This article explores how applying lessons and strategies learned in treatment make it easier for teens and their families to sustain their mental health in order to lead fulfilling, healthy lives.
Reunification From Out-of-Home Care: A Research Overview of Good Practice in Returning Children Home From Care (PDF - 359 KB)
University of Bristol
Emphasizes the importance of adequate preparation of children and parents before they return home in order to avoid an upsetting situation, as the return of children to their families is not only a major transition, but a process that is at least as complex and stressful as that of separation.
Using Evidence to Accelerate the Safe and Effective Reduction of Congregate Care for Youth Involved With Child Welfare (PDF - 527 KB)
Chapin Hall & Chadwick Center (2016)
Highlights the steps necessary to reduce the use of congregate care as a needed placement, ensure youth are screened quickly and properly for mental health status, and broaden the scope of community-based treatment options for youth.
What Will My Teen's Discharge Plan Look Like?
Explains what parents and family members can expect when youth return from residential care and how to craft a posttreatment plan.